Monday, 14 July 2014

The one for the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2014

I've been putting this off but here goes.

I'm going to the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London next Saturday.  It will be the first time I have ever been to any sort of quilters gathering and I'm unreasonably anxious. This is normal for me as trying anything new for the first time is or change of any sort is unsettling to me.

My name is Rosanne Derrett, I turned 50 last month and my mad day out is my treat for actually managing to hit that milestone.  I don't look it and most of the time I don't feel it.  I'm single, never married, no kids and normally live on my own.  At the moment everything is in a state of flux as I await being rehoused due to severe health problems. Up until recently, I had my beloved Shar Pei  Phoebe with me but sadly I've had to place her in rescue for rehoming.  Where I'm living has other dogs and children but its not the same.

I have been quilting since I was 15 (with considerable breaks) and I still have my first EPP hexagon tops in my possession. My other passions include cross stitch, F1, sailing and motocross so I'm not exactly conventional.  I love big complex projects and am not a fan of the 'quick' quilting movement as I feel it removes a lot of the pleasure involved with the process. 

Current quilting WIP is 'Midnight at the Oasis' by Jen Kingwell.  It's slow progress but I'm loving it despite the frustrations of learning and developing applique skills!  It's the second design of hers that I've done.  I completed Circle Game in April, taking 15 months from start to finish and now its in the huge pile awaiting finishing.

Style wise I don't fit into a particular camp - some are modern, some traditional but I have to work with fabric I love to get the best results.  I love strong bright colours and large scale pattern with Tula Pink and Jennifer Paganelli being favourite designers. I also love working with tiny scraps so I'm always on the hunt for scraps.

I'm currently part of the Little Blog Quilting Bee along with 11 other UK quilters all of whom are small bloggers.  I'm more than a bit backward in blogging about this and I need a serious kick in the butt at the moment to get it done.  November will be my month

I'm also part of the Modern Instabee on Instagram and we are now into month 3.  The hashtags to find the blocks so far are #moderninstabeeuk #ukhive1 and #moderninstabee2014.  There are currently 2 hives in the UK using Lindsay Conner's book' Modern Bee - 13 quilts to make with friends'.  There are more hives across the world and no two blocks, let alone quilts are ever the same.  I'm not queen bee till right at the end, next April on this hive.

That's about it for me.  I'll be the tall fat one with the walking stick and grey face when I totter through the door to Thomas' class on Saturday morning. Hair scraped back and glasses.  I'm actually quite shy and quiet when you first meet me but not for long.   You really can't miss me!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Circle Game - the eggy face post

Well, I've got another block done.  Not without a lot of adult words, tears and an email to Amitie.

I'd tried machine piecing this block and failed.  I then hand pieced it and failed. By this stage, my rational and wise mine told me to give up.  The irrational stubborn mind told me to ask for help.  So I did.

Then I EPP'd the block and it went together perfectly. Because I realised that the two end pieces of each arc joined together without the green centre in between.  I'd been trying to put it together completely wrong.

I'd emailed Amitie panicking and thinking it was something wrong with the pattern when it was me being a complete numpty. AGAIN! I should have read the instructions first......

Now I'm off to email and apology to Lucy and explain I was a complete idiot.

That said this afternoons adventure is to rectify this piece of fabric art.  It is so distorted that I'm resorting to EPPing this and the remainder of the blocks in a vain attempt to have some reasonably flat blocks to assemble soon.

This is sort of the cripple blocks I am able to produce far too often.

Onwards and upwards.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Circle Game progress

I've managed not to blog for a little while (OK almost 6 months) as things have been rather hectic here.  I now have two friends living with me, a baby has been born and I've seen two long-term relationships go up in smoke and been supporting a lot of people and dogs.

I've made a lot of things this summer, done a lot of mending and even learned a couple of new sewing skills. All of which are coming in handy on Circle Game.

My lovely friend Mel lives in Melbourne, home of Amitie Textiles. She went right the away across town with another mutual friend Julie to but my Xmas present last December. Cue hysterical Autocorrect moment when an Iphone turned Sandringham Line on the Metro into slandering jam!

Since then I've been slowly working my way through the blocks. All of the blocks are meant to be hand pieced but I'm a proper chicken so a lot of the earlier blocks have been paper pieced.  Well, it's hand pieced, just not the recommended way. Some have been machine pieced because I like bending the rules. Also, having spoken to Lynne Goldsworthy (one of the UK Amitie BOM veterans), she also had the same ideas about piecing so I'm OK with that.

I've plenty of scraps courtesy of Lynne and Brioni so I'm having a lot of fun with colour combos I'd normally never try with my own fabrics. I've a lot more subtle fabrics than my usual eyeball screamingly bright colours so this should be a lot more cohesive overall and not offend so many people at quilt group.  I'm also finding I'm having to think a lot more about contrast , especially when it comes to the block surrounds and borders.  I've made decisions about the surrounds but the borders are still a massive headache.

The original looks to have charcoal Sketch as the borders.  I'm not to keen on a dark border and I think it could be a bit heavy.  Also the corner pieces are navy polkadots and that is about as dark as I want to go.

So the choices get a bit more exciting.  I want a fairly neutral colour, not bright to accentuate the semi circles on the border.  It also can't be a solid colour as it would flatten everything around it. That reduces the selection more.

Then it has to have texture as a ditsy print or teeny polkadots woud look plain wrong.

Now can you see why I have a headache and why the selection is taking so long?

I could go for a subtle batik like the Hoffman 1895 Watercolours and completely offend some of my batik hating friends but the idea is good.  Colour wise mid to dark toned, possibly grey or a nice brown.  Yes I said brown.  I hate brown fabric but it would work here and balance out the brightness of the blocks.

Current favourite is Moda Grunge Basics as they would look good in any project and love the effect they give. I'm not even looking at grey or brown here but pear, decadent and avalanche.  If I could find any of the Dauphine Grunge in the UK, I may settle for that but it may be too dark overall.

 Also I like the Riley Blake Small Gingham in Grey.

Told you it was headache time!

As usual, when getting the camera out, Phoebe decided to get in one the action and promptly lay on the pieces when they were laid out on the floor!

One bribe later, she got off

I'm disgustingly organised for a change.  The  border strips are cut as are the outer border semi circles and the corners and insets that surround each circle.  All neatly bagged and set aside for a rainy day when I can get to grips with them.

I'm even planning for the next big quilt adventure. In the current issue of Quiltmania is a pattern I've lusted over since Spring Market. It's another Jen Kingwell design but this time it's Midnight at the Oasis. I've read the instructions and had the thought that it's not 'that' difficult.  Yep, I'm probably over reaching but I'm up for a challenge!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

10 things I desperately need

This is simply my list of things I need to buy in the very near future to be able to quilt properly. It is simply a memory aid for me

1/4" foot,  Completely fed up with guessing seam and never getting them accurate. It's just a standard low shank foot, nothing special

Free Motion Quilting foot. I really want to get away from only straight line quilting and add some detail and texture

Bobbins.  21x7mm bobbins, plastic or metal.  I work with a single bobbin as it is so more would be pretty wonderful

2m Klona white cotton  Ran out part of the way through my Summersville Spring project and I need enough to do Ryan's quilt.

Thread. An ongoing problem.  I want to move to using decent thread but at present can't afford to.  Even Coats Moon for piecing is better than nothing but using decent stuff for the final quilting would be nice.

Quilters Muslin  I need to buy a lot of this for upcoming scrappy projects

Wadding I love natural fibre wadding but this beggar can't be a chooser. The polyester waddings don't shrink and remain colour fast. They are pretty much idiot proof too.

Backing fabric Pretty much the final expense on any quilt and Ikea has some excellent budget fabrics for silly prices. I also have the option of Fabricland which also has some good fabrics at really silly prices.

Laminate and fabric 1/2 yard of this and 1/2 yard of this plus hardware to finish my Weekend bag from Lisa Lam's Bag Making Bible.  This has all been cut out for months but now I can proceed further without additional fabric

Quilt Labels Now I want to do this properly - I never sign my stitching which is probably a huge mistake as my memory is so dreadful that I rely on blog posts to determine when I started/finished projects. My quilts deserve more.  I need labels. End of story. Best place to get them from is Spoonflower as a bespoke print job.

My aide-memoir is complete.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Lucky fabric hoarder

Sorry everyone.  I have been finding writing any sort of words hard for months now, mainly because I lead a chaotic life and have ad quite bad depression.  Enough of that - that's not why you are here.

I love my fabric and have been quite incredibly lucky recently.  I've won two layer cakes: California Girl by Fig Tree Quilts from Simply Solids and Summersville Spring by Lucie Summers, and been gifted a third Sunkissed but Sweetwater from Amanda as part of her PIF plan.

This is the Sunkissed made up to GoGoKim's pattern Happy Weekender on Moda Bake Shop

I have another pile of fabric left from this quilt and I'm working towards finding a pattern or design to show the remaining fabric off and I'm loving choosing solids to match.

California Girl was made up using the Little Apples Quilt pattern from the main Moda website The finished top is on Flickr here .  I can't get the image to load so have to link it.  The original image is on my other laptop and I can't face the faffing about to find it!

The Summersville Spring Layer Cake is a work in progress but it I need to feed it more white before I can show the finished article.

I also won a bundle of fabric earlier in the year from Pink Castle Fabrics.  It is Hope Chest by Josephine Kimberling for Blend Fabrics. I'm liking the handle of Blend Fabric very much.  Soft. even and very easy to sew with.  I mixed in the fabrics with the remainder of the Swanky jelly roll I've had for ages and turned it into a prairie braid quilt top.  The colours go together well; better than I hoped in fact.  I need to trim the the top and finish this one quickly now as I have the perfect person to gift it to!

What else....... I was running very low on scraps and trying to avoid cutting my limited stash.  Then two of my Fairy Quiltmothers came to my rescue.  January saw the arrival of two huge boxes of scraps from Lynne and Brioni.  That was such fun to sort though and begin to work with.  Scrap Vomit 3 is well underway now with enough strips of squares ready to build a quilt 64" square.  When I get bored, I just come and sew squares together.

That's about it from here.  I have a pile of ideas for this super scrappy year. Can't wait to have some fun.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Feather Bedding my nest

This all started as a 'what if' late at night a couple of weeks ago.  I was looking at the AMH website when  I saw the pattern and loved it.  Actually I was supposed to be looking and and downloading Spinning Stars ready to be swept up in another of Katy's QAL's.  I got completely distracted, ignored Spinning Stars and downloaded the Feather Bed pattern.

Then last week Jo at Saints and Pinners blogged her Feather Bed Quilt. This is actually a free quilt pattern by Anna Maria Horner available here.  It's been released to work with her new Field Study collection which is what Jo had used to make her quilt.

What had gone through my mind in those late nights was would this pattern work as a foundation pieced project - either paper or calico.

I said as much to Jo on Twitter last week and she got all excited.  Monday, with all the major stuff off my table, I get to work.  By Monday evening, I was extremely tired, cranky and finished but I did have two finished sample blocks

I used the cream fabric as it was what I had to hand.  All the scraps used are what most people would throw away. Strips under 2" wide, right down to saved selvedges.  I have three bags of teenies in my workroom ready to be used and this looks to be the perfect project to use some of them.

I'll also need another pack of paper and a black ink cartridge.  Each feather needs two copies of one page to complete if I choose to use the paper option.

All that's left to do now is find a background colour and feather spine colour that works and I like.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Scrap Vomit redux

Yep, I've done another one as I have a whole box of 2.5" squares.  It I have a small piece of fabric, then if I can get a square out of it, then I do. As a result, I have this shoe box full of little squares.  Perfect for swaps but even better for my own use.

Katy started all of this with Scrap Vomit  and keeps leading me (and a lot of other people) astray. Not that I mind as I usually end up learning something.  Quite often I have to sit on my hands when she proposes another quilt-a-long. because I know I will be cheerfully joining in without thinking things though unless I stop and think about the logisitics!

So here is Scrap Vomit Redux - all 80" and 1600 pieces of it.  There are even two scowly faces from Tula Pink's Nightshade Cameo prints.  There are bits of everything in here from all sorts of manufacturers.

Having learnt from version one, this one was made slightly differently and with more pins. Also the pieces were more evenly cut this time so actual construction was a great deal more accurate and a lot easier than version one.  There are some tiny scraps from cherished fabrics that have come in scrap bags from others. Examples are the teeny bits of From Little Things and the single piece of Sis Boom fabric that was not withheld for other things.

For now, it is sitting in the filing cabinet maturing and awaiting the monies for wadding and backing with several others.